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Spawning lake sturgeon, some weighing more than 50 pounds, churn the water along a rocky bank below the Wolf River Sturgeon Trail during their annual spawning run in 2005. Millions of sticky eggs are knocked loose from the females. They adhere to rocks and are fertilized by the more numerous males. / Photo by Ed Culhane

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SHAWANO The unseasonably early sturgeon spawning season on the Wolf River came to a halt Friday, as cold weather and snow in the upper Wolf watershed caused water temperatures to dip.

Water temperatures at the Shawano dam Friday were in the mid 40s. The state Department of Natural Resources said water temperatures likely will need to get back into the mid 50s before spawning begins at the northern Wolf River sites from Shawano downstream and on the Embarrass River.

Starting today, air temperatures are supposed to warm significantly and stay warm for the next week, so it is possible water temperatures will rise rapidly again and bring the fish on this coming week, the DNR reported.

The average date of sturgeon spawning on the Wolf River is April 25 and last year fish were spawning through early May, the DNR said.

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